Prohibited drivers placed behind bars

H.P. court docket
March 2, 2020
Judge D.R. Shynkar

A man driving while prohibited is paying big time for his crime.
Melvin Joseph Anderson, 59, was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to operating a vehicle while prohibited after appearing in High Prairie provincial court March 2.
Anderson was charged by High Prairie RCMP who responded to a report by citizens who recognized him driving out in the bush Aug. 10, 2019, Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu told court.
The accused was one of many driving off-highway vehicles.
“He was bound by three driving prohibitions,” Eta-Ndu said.
Court heard his initial driving ban expires March 8, 2023.
“He has a significant record for those types of incidents,” Judge D.R. Shynkar noted during sentencing.
“He went for a ride with his girlfriend and he got stuck,” duty counsel Harry Jong said.
“He thought he could [legally] drive on a dirt road. What he did was stupid.”
The judge recognized that Anderson did several other “stupid” things related to his record.
In addition to the driving prohibition, Anderson was suspended a further one year.
He was also fined $2,875 for driving a vehicle without insurance.

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Michael John Johnston, 63, of High Prairie, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to driving a vehicle while prohibited.
High Prairie RCMP stopped Johnston on Aug. 31, 2019 and charged him.
“He was a disqualified driver,” Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu told court.
Judge D.R. Shynkar granted Johnston’s request to serve time on weekends. Johnston will serve time in jail from Friday 8 p.m. to Sunday 7 a.m. starting March 6.
Johnston asked the judge to allow him to serve time on weekends so he can still work on weekdays. He will be credited for three days served for each completed weekend.
When not serving time in jail, Johnston will be on probation until the sentence is fully served.
The driving violation was not the only legal problem Johnston faced. He also pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle without insurance and was fined $2,875.
Johnston told duty counsel Harry Jong he was driving someone else’s vehicle.
“He’s remorseful,” Jong said.
Judge D.R. Shynkar advises people to make sure insurance is inside any vehicle before starting to drive.

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Owen Liberty Calliou, 18, of Sucker Creek, was fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 80 mg.
Court heard Calliou recorded a breath sample of 170 mg after he was stopped in Grouard by High Prairie RCMP on Dec.13, 2019, Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu said.
Calliou is remorseful for his actions, said Cheryl Kachuk, criminal court worker for Native Counselling Services of Alberta, who spoke for Calliou.
“He’s still upset with himself,” she told court.
“He made a mistake, he was drinking with friends.”

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Latoya Giroux, 22, of Driftpile, was placed on probation for nine months after pleading guilty to breach of probation.
The charge arose after she failed to report to probation as directed, Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu said.
Giroux told Judge D.R. Shynkar she first reported to probation in November, about four months after she was sentenced.
“She says she wasn’t feeling well at that time,” said Cheryl Kachuk, criminal court worker for Native Counselling Services of Alberta.

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Brayden Lee Bellerose, 26, of High Prairie, was placed on probation for six months after pleading guilty to two counts of shoplifting under $5,000.
Court heard be took a bottle of Bacardi rum from the High Prairie Liquor Depot on Nov. 3, 2019 and again Nov. 12 without paying, Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu submitted.
It was Bellerose’s first brush with the law.
“It sounds like you have a drinking problem,” Judge D.R. Shynkar told Bellerose.
Bellerose was ordered to take assessment, counseling and treatment for alcohol and emotional treatment as part of his probation order.
Duty counsel Harry Jong explained what led Bellerose to steal the liquor.
“He was having a bad time and the only way he thought he could handle it was to have a drink.”
Bellerose was also ordered to pay restitution for the price of the bottles valued at $27.49 each.

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Thomas Pedersen was fined $800 after pleading guilty to failing to comply with his probation order.
The charge arose after Pedersen failed to completed 80 hour of community service,” Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu said.
Duty counsel Harry Jong told court Pedersen has an ailment in his legs that prevents him from standing for lengths of time.
His probation officer had scheduled some time for Pedersen to work at the High Prairie and District Food Bank, and at the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo last summer, lawyer Harry Jong said.
However, Pedersen was unable to do much work because it involved extensive periods of standing and walking, which is painful for him.

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Gordon Sawan, 22, of Whitefish, was fined $400 after pleading guilty to for obstructing a peace officer.
The charge arose after Sawan identified himself by a different name when he was asked by High Prairie RCMP, who were breaking up a house party in Atikameg on Feb. 13.
Sawan was warned by Judge D.R. Shynkar to co-operate with police.
“You may as well tell police the truth because they will always find out your real name,” he said.

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Adrian C. Lamache was fined $250 after catching and retaining an illegal fish.
A fish he caught was too short in length to retain, Crown prosecutor Serge Eta-Ndu said, resulting in the charge and guilty plea.

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